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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Sunderland see off Hornets
Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy
McCarthy got his first home win
Sunderland 2-0 Watford

Goals from Marcus Stewart and Stephen Wright helped Sunderland to victory over Watford and brought some joy back to their long-suffering fans.

The Black Cats recorded their second win in three days, having lost their previous 17 league games.

A first-half penalty from Stewart and a rare strike from defender Wright after the break saw them put an end to a run of nine consecutive home defeats in the league.

It was the first time they have collected three points at the Stadium of Light since beating Liverpool in mid-December, and avenged their FA Cup defeat to the Hornets in February.

Sunderland began in confident mood, clearly buoyed by snapping their losing record at Preston at the weekend.

Kevin Kilbane and Julio Arca looked lively down the left-hand side and twice combined to set up Kevin Kyle, but the big striker could not find a way past Alec Chamberlain.

For all Sunderland's neat passing it took a penalty to break the Hornets backline and Watford only had themselves to blame.

40 mins: Stewart scores from the spot
52 mins: Webber is denied by Poom
67 mins: Wright gets his first goal for the Black Cats
Sunderland skipper Paul Thirlwell latched onto a sloppy pass from Micah Hyde and Marcus Gayle was forced to bring him down.

Chamberlain went the right way but he could not keep out Stewart's spot-kick.

Watford offered very little attacking-wise until the stroke of half-time when Lloyd Doyley's cross was inches away from Hyde and Gavin Mahon.

Sunderland keeper Mart Poom was finally called into serious action seven minutes into the second period to keep out a shot from Danny Webber.

Watford were beginning to look dangerous when they fell victim to a Sunderland counter-attack.


John Oster released Stewart down the left and his early ball fell into the path of a flying Wright.

He finished off the move like a seasoned striker for only the second goal of his career.

Watford battled gamely until the end but they are left still looking for their first point and goal of the season.

Sunderland: Poom, Wright, Breen, McCartney, Arca, Oster, Thirlwell, Thornton, Kilbane, Stewart, Kyle. Subs: Ingham, Proctor, Babb, Butler, Healy.

Watford: Chamberlain, Doyley, Cox, Gayle, Robinson, Hand, Hyde, Mahon, Helguson, Webber, Dyer. Subs: Dyche, Lee, McNamee, Fitzgerald, Cook.

Referee: Andy Hall (Birmingham)

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